PCSO News in Brief

On the Beat’s Pick of PCSO and Policing Stories from the past 7 days…

PCSO numbers to be restored

Met Commissioner Bernard Hogan-Howe with Boris Johnson

Police news

Commissioner Vows to Restore PCSO Numbers

Met Commissioner Bernard Hogan-Howe on Wednesday promised to end a recruitment freeze as the Met was handed a £90 million grant by Government to pay for an extra 1,000 officers. The Commissioner said it would take between 6 to 12 months for the numbers to recover. He also said many PCSOs would be promoted to PCs, leaving more gaps elsewhere. Munira Wilson, a Liberal Democrat London Assembly campaigner who criticised the decrease in PCSOs, said: “It is good that eventually something has happened although we didn’t get the timelines the recruitment freeze will be lifted.” Read more here.

Police Shooting Leaves Man in Hospital

Police shot a man in South-East London today. Armed officers were sent to Forest Hill after the man threatened police with a “large bladed weapon”. The police shot the man with firearms and a taser. The man is now in a “critical but stable” condition at King’s College Hospital, London. A police spokesperson said “a number of knives” were found at the scene. The IPCC has launched an investigation. It was a police shooting of Mark Duggan which triggered the riots which spread across the country last August. Read here.

IPCC Gets a New Chief

Dame Anne Owers, former chief inspector of prisons has been appointed to head the independent police watchdog. The IPCC has been without a permanent chairperson for nearly 2 years. Read more.

Met Police launch Anti-Terror Campaign

The four-week campaign entitled “It’s Probably Nothing, But…” consists mainly of adverts in local and ethnic minority press. The adverts urge people to report suspicious behavious by calling a dedicated Anti-Terrorist hotline. There is also a radio advert and leaflets will be delivered to 1.4 million London Homes. For more information, read this or visit the site.

£600,000 Compensation for Witness Identified to Gang

A boy was awarded £600,000 compensation after his name was inadvertently given out by Police to the gang he testified against. The payout, thought to be the biggest of its kind, is to compensate for psychiatric distress, lost earnings and relocation costs incurred under a witness protection programme. The boy’s whole family had to move as a result of the blunder. The 16-year-old had agreed to give evidence anonymously after witnessing a violent gang attack in 2005. Read more here.

PCSOs on HorsesPolice on horse patrol

It’s true! In Norfolk a PCSO will patrol rural roads and countryside on horseback after she and her horse completed an assessment. The scheme aims to increase police visibility and reduce rural crime and involves four South Norfolk Officers based at Snetterton. Watch the horses and their riders being put through their paces.

Increase PCSO Powers

Staffordshire PCSOs are to be given more legal authority than ever before. The 219 PCSOs in the county will be able to issue fines for a wider variety of offences, including disorder and dog fouling, as well as search underage drinkers for drugs and alcohol and detail people while waiting for backup from regular police officers. Read the full story here.

Do you think this is a good idea? Should PCSOs be given more powers? Share your views with your PCSO community by leaving a comment below.

The BBC reports on what PCSOs do here. Or you can listen to an interview with the lovely PCSO and read a much more detailed version of the same story here.

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But the bad news is…

Ex-PCSO Jailed for Rape

A former police community support officer has been jailed for the rape of a 12-year-old girl. Michael Yardley admitting to having sex with the youngster along with four other counts of sexual activity with a child. Full story here.

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On the Beat 101 – Hero of the Week

PCSO Praised for Chasing Angry Motorist

A Newmarket PCSO was praised by magistrates for running after a driver fleeing a fixed penalty notice. PCSO Hannah Rogers put the ticket on the car of Steven Starr, who began shouting and swearing before getting in the vehicle and driving off. PCSO Rogers bravely placed herself in front of the car to stop Mr Starr from escaping, but had to step aside when he drove towards her, pushing into her leg before she managed to get out the way. Not put off, PCSO Rogers chased the car to the traffic lights. For the rest of the story, see here!

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That’s all for this week, as ever, we want to know your thoughts on these stories – so leave a comment below or email!

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